Body Language Matters

Jan 14, 2020; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Bob Huggins talks with guard Brandon Knapper (2) during the second half against the TCU Horned Frogs at WVU Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Body language is the process of communicating nonverbally through conscious or unconscious gestures and movements.  Body language actually conveys an incredible amount about how a person is feeling and unfortunately players on the West Virginia basketball team have incredibly poor body language in the second half of the season.

Not only on the court, players on the bench look defeated, angry, frustrated, uninterested and not engaged.  There is almost no encouragement coming from the players on the bench or during time outs.

When Derek Culver threw up a tremendously poor three point shot at the end of the 1st half of the Iowa State game (he thought the clock was running out but actually had over 7 seconds remaining), it was actually a really great moment for the Mountaineers.

Culver’s shot was terrible case of clock management, but he also did something that no other West Virginia player had done in many, many games – he smiled, he laughed, he enjoyed himself for a few minutes.  It was a silly, lighthearted moment that the team hadn’t had for most of the season, and although it was an awful mistake by Culver, it was actually very refreshing to see.

Bob Huggins and his players don’t appear to be enjoying themselves while on the court lately.  Players throw their hands up, point fingers, drop their heads, shrug their shoulders, yell at teammates, and Bob Huggins is…well, Bob Huggins.  Negativity in team sports is extremely toxic, defeating and unproductive.

Basketball is such a mental game.  When a player misses a free throw, rather than shaking your head and pouting about it, encourage players.  Free throws are almost entirely mental and positivity and optimism that the next one will go in is absolutely key.

Rather than pouting or yelling or being negative, players and coaches should remain upbeat, love the game and always remain supportive of one another.  This is a talented, deep team that literally has no ceiling on how much they can accomplish this season.

Stay positive and go kick some ass, Mountaineers!